My Current Playlist

Thanks to Spotify, I have noticed that my recently played music includes a lot of strong female vocalists/musicians. In case you were looking for new music or a reminder to dive into some familiar female artists, here are some of my recent favorites.

 

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Like a lot of musicians in my life, my dad introduced me to Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. To be completely honest, I wasn’t too crazy about her when I first listened. I loved the raw version of “Low Road” and have watched that video probably an unhealthy amount. I also liked “Tiny Light,” but something seemed off to me. Obviously little me (i.e. 4 years ago me) was tasteless because I have had Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on heavy rotation lately. I take back every bad thing I ever thought about Potter. Her voice is so unbelievably powerful and just the right amount of raspy. If I’ve convinced you to check them out, you must first listen to the YouTube video of “Low Road” and not the studio version. Both are good but I think the single-cut, live video really captures the full range of Potter’s talent (kudos to the acoustic guitarist as well). “Paris (Ooh La La)” is a good jam as well and shows off a more rock and roll version of the band.

“Low Road”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgc5l9X3Dn4

Sister Sparrow

Possibly my most recent discovery, Sister Sparrow is the soloist endeavour of Arleigh Kincheloe after separating from Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. I originally drew connections between Kincheloe and Grace Potter, as both women can hit unreal notes and are as emotional as they are rock and roll. My favorite and most listened to album is The Weather Below (2015) with hits like “Disappear,” “Prison Cells,” and “Sugar” to name a few, but honestly they’re all worth a listen. If you have nine minutes that you would like to dedicate to one song, dim the lights, close your eyes, and listen to the live version of “Dr. Feelgood” and you might feel like you’re sitting in the back of a smoke-filled (I know, illegal) bar in New Orleans listening to Kincheloe belt out this slow jam. There’s a killer trumpet solo too, I might add.

 

HAIM

Getting further away from rock and roll, HAIM incorporates indie rock, pop, and soft rock into their music. I have been listening to HAIM ever since I saw their music video for “Want You Back,” which was so simple and aesthetically satisfying that I explored some of their other songs. (Also don’t ask me how many times I’ve watched that music video since then…) The trio of sisters not only dominate vocally but they are all proficient in several instruments as well. They’ve been compared to Fleetwood Mac but they are more similar to modern soft pop bands. I would suggest songs like “Honey & I,” “The Wire,” and “Little of Your Love.”

“Want You Back”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPQfcG-eimk

Janelle Monáe

Perhaps the funkiest female artist I listen to, I’m pretty sure the first song that I ever heard from Janelle Monáe was “Tightrope” way back in 2010. It’s a fun song but I never made an effort to listen to any of her other stuff until recently when I heard “Make Me Feel” on a random Spotify playlist. The song will give you serious Prince vibes (i.e. “Kiss”) with it’s funky beat and bass drop. Some of my other favorites from her Dirty Computer (2018) album are “I Got the Juice” and “Screwed” which feature Zoë Kravitz and Pharrell Williams, respectively.